Originally Posted by Trez
What about the companies that were already set up for the M1903? They had almost 15 years to make '03s, But the companies that made '17s redesigned and made more 1917's in one year than the 1903 in 15????
When the U.S. entered the war, it had a similar need for rifles. The Springfield Armory had delivered approximately 843,000 1903 rifles, but due to the difficulties in production, rather than re-tool the Pattern 14 factories to produce the standard U.S. rifle, the M1903 Springfield, it was realized that it would be much quicker to adapt the British design for the U.S. .30-06 cartridge, for which it was well-suited. Accordingly, Remington Arms Co. altered the design for caliber .30-06, under the close supervision of the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, which was formally adopted as the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1917. In addition to Remington's production at Ilion, New York and Eddystone, Pennsylvania, Winchester produced the rifle at their New Haven, Connecticut plant, a combined total more than twice the 1903's production, and was the unofficial service rifle. Eddystone made 1,181,908 rifles - more than the production of Remington (545,541 rifles) and Winchester (465,980 rifles) combined.
You Had 2 companies producing the '03 and 3 producing the M1917. Teddy Roosevelt also did not like the bayonet the '03 had, so all rifles had to be fitted w/ a new bayonet lug and tooling changed for new rifles. There was also the issue w/ less then perfect steel in early receivers, that had to be addressed.